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Disarray engulfs Russian light/medium transport aircraft plans

22nd February 2022 - 12:51 GMT | by Alex Orlov in Riga


Mi-26 heavy-lift transport helicopter. (Photo: Russian MoD)

Russian plans to field new light military transport aircraft are already in disarray after the crash of the prototype Il-112V in August 2021, and now even a stopgap measure to use Mi-26 helicopters may be stymied by Moscow’s aggression towards Ukraine.

The Russian MoD wants to usе Mi-26 heavy-lift transport helicopters as a temporary substitute for the problematic Ilyushin Il-112V fixed-wing aircraft, as confirmed most recently in December 2021 by Andrey Yelchaninov, first deputy chairman of the board of the Russian Military-Industrial Commission (MIC).

Russia would either procure more new Mi-26s (to the upgraded Mi-26TV2 standard) or use its existing fleet more intensively. 

Shephard Defence Insight notes that the Russian Aerospace Forces are expected to procure around 20 Mi-26s to the latest standard by 2025 as part of the country's helicopter rearmament programme.

A total of 44 Mi-26s remain in service today but they

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Alex Orlov


Alex Orlov

Alex Orlov is a freelance journalist based in Helsinki.

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